St. Anthony police open house: the cops want to hear from you


Solomon Gustavo • An attendee shook hands with St. Anthony Police Capt. Jeff Spies after a June 14 police open house at St. Anthony City Hall. During the event St. Anthony Police Department officials asked the community to engage more with police.

St. Anthony Police Chief Jon Mangseth and a panel of officers presented the St. Anthony Police Department’s mission, vision, goals and objectives for reform June 14 at St. Anthony City Hall.

The open house followed a pattern set at a similar event in February. Mangseth, with the help of officers like Capt. Jeff Spies, who heads the department’s social media outreach, laid out their intentions for reform, and strides so far, since Philando Castile was shot to death by a St. Anthony officer in June 2016 in Falcon Heights. 

Mangseth said he’s proud of the work the department’s done but emphasized that “the work is not done” and that the department “needs enhancement.”

The department’s vision and mission were presented in a PDF as a pyramid with goals and objectives below. The mission is “to improve the overall quality of life by preserving the peace and safety of the community.” The vision’s foundation of the pyramid is to hire and keep people devoted to “exceptional policing.”

The department listed nine goals, each with a column of objectives. The goal of shifting focus to traffic safety, for example, has an objective, among many, of “data-driven patrol.”

The mission pyramid, which Mangseth said is a collaborative effort with the community and other organizations, will help the department “formalize in a document” its practices. The mission, he said, should be reflected in the “everyday activities” and “everyday thought processes” of officers. 

Mayor Jerry Faust — he and other city officials made up about a third of those in attendance at the sparsely attended event — said he wanted to give the police a “shout out” for showing “extreme restraint” and “caring” in incidents lately like a recent domestic violence call. He said such results are the “proof in the pudding” of the department’s reform efforts. 

As for determining the state of trust between the community and police since Castile’s killing, Mangseth said it’s hard to measure. He said he can say that he is receiving more emails, and not just ones written out of concern.

Throughout the open house, Mangseth and the other officers that spoke asked the community to engage with them. 

“We really need you to engage with us,” said Spies, adding the request that, when officers pass by, residents stop and wave and say “Hi.” 

Sgt. Mike Huddle said the department’s reform relies on community input and reciprocity. He said he hopes people will engage the department and allow the police a little bit of grace.

Mangseth made it clear that his and others’ pleas for feedback are not because they aren’t getting any — he assured a resident that the mission pyramid was shaped with community input — the request is for even more engagement. 

 

– Solomon Gustavo can be reached at sgustavo@lillienews.com or 651-748-7815

Rate this article: 
No votes yet
Comment Here